Milton Keynes is punching above it weight for a city of its size. However, there is a need for the tech ecosystem to become more connected in order to drive greater value, both economic and social, for the city.

The research has been supported by supported by Aiimi, MazarsMilton Keynes CollegeSouth Central Institute of TechnologyMilton Keynes CouncilProtospaceSantanderThe Open University and University of Buckingham, and has involved a programme of detailed desk research, a data analysis phase and interviews with over 40 key stakeholders across the city.

This report is particularly timely given Milton Keynes recent achievement of securing city status, providing a boost to the local economy and community, opening new opportunities and putting Milton Keynes on the international map. The research identifies the key capabilities and strengths of the city whilst also highlighting future opportunities to support the growth and development of the tech ecosystem in Milton Keynes.

Lal Tawney, Director at Whitecap Consulting says:
“Our report confirms what many suspected in that Milton Keynes has a productive and resilient economy along with a strong and thriving tech sector that demonstrates pockets of exciting innovation. The city has huge potential, as one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, to continue to develop its tech ecosystem for the benefit of the city and surrounding regions. This report is part showcase, and part ‘catalyser’ for all parts of the tech ecosystem to reflect, discuss, and act upon to aid the growth of Milton Keynes – based on the feedback received following the launch event, the report is already generating a desire for action.”

Key findings in the report:
  • Milton Keynes has a productive and resilient economy with a GVA of approximately £14.7bn for 2022.
  • Milton Keynes has a strong and thriving tech sector – 1 in 3 people in Milton Keynes work in tech and around a fifth of all businesses in the city are tech related.
  • The city has a unique reputation for being a testbed location for new technologies and innovations – with examples spanning over 40 years.
  • Milton Keynes has an extremely high startup activity. However, there is an opportunity to offer more tailored and coordinated support for scaleups.
  • There is an opportunity for the tech ecosystem in Milton Keynes to become more connected and cohesive. For example, through the creation of an innovation / technology hub.
  • Milton Keynes has high-quality education providers both within the city and in surrounding regions, offering a potential strong supply of talent. However, there is an opportunity to invest in improving the perception of Milton Keynes and its tech ecosystem in order to increase talent attraction and retention.
  • Milton Keynes has an advantageous geographical position, a good standard of living, unique infrastructure and exceptional 5G connectivity.
There are also six recommendations for Milton Keynes on how to continue to strengthen the tech ecosystem:
  1.  Create a Milton Keynes tech steering group
  2.  Establish a tech ecosystem strategy
  3.  Design and create a technology hub
  4.  Create a tech accelerator as part of the hub
  5.  Establish an education providers’ group to create tech talent strategy for the benefit of Milton Keynes
  6.  Develop a strategic marketing plan for Milton Keynes tech ecosystem

Oliver Waters, co-founder at Protospace says:
“The technology sector in Milton Keynes is growing rapidly – and Milton Keynes provides a convenient, connected and forward-thinking environment for innovation and technology driven businesses. At Protospace we believe this report will be an important resource for the understanding and strategic development of the tech ecosystem in Milton Keynes.”

Download Report.

Report Launch Podcast.

If you missed the report launch event, you can see Lal Tawney, Director at Whitecap Consulting and Chloe Thompson, Consultant at Whitecap Consulting discuss the key findings and recommendations from the report on a podcast with Kristian Mackie at MK:U.